Pedro Ruiz is a celebrated choreographer and dancer who was born and trained in Cuba, and later in Venezuela before coming to the US. During his 21-year career with Ballet Hispanico as principal dancer, Ruiz choreographed three critically acclaimed ballets for the company — Club Havana (the company’s signature piece), Guajira and Cecilia. As a dancer, Ruiz was distinguished with a Bessie Award, the New York Dance World’s highest honor.
Choreography credits include: Fire Island Dancers Responding to AIDS Dance Festival, Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, Ballet Contemporaneo de Camagüey Cuba, Danza de Contemporanea de Cuba Havana, Danza del Alma Santa Clara Cuba, National Ballet School of Cuba, Ballet de Camagüey Cuba, The Joffrey Ballet, Luna Negra, The New Jersey Ballet, The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, The Jacob’s Pillow Festival, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Opus Dance Theater, Nimbus Dance Works, the Italian international gala “Notte di Stelle,” Il Piccolo Teatro dell’Opera, Alvin Ailey Summer Sizzler and Ailey Spring Concerts, Marymount Manhattan College, Ulster Ballet Company, President George Bush’s Birthday celebration, 50th Anniversary Gala of Goya with Tito Puente, and The Boston Conservatory. National television appearances include the CBS Sunday Morning Show, NBC’s “Hispanics Today,” “The Hispanic Heritage Awards,” a PBS “In The Life” series profile Pas de Deux, and WNET/13 documentary, Pedro Ruiz: Coming Home — an hour-long, Emmy-nominated film about Ruiz’s return to Cuba and his 2011 collaboration with the national Cuban dance company Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. For additional information on “Pedro Ruiz: Coming Home”, click here. Ruiz is on the dance faculty of Marymount College, the staff of The Ailey School, a master-class teacher of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pace University, Complexion Contemporary Ballet and Resident Artistic Director of the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter. He has also taught master classes and performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Central and South America.
In February 2010, Mr. Ruiz created “The Windows Project,” a groundbreaking endeavor celebrating the art of dance as a cultural bridge between the U.S. and Cuba. After 30 years Ruiz returned to his native land and was commissioned to create an original work, Horizonte, for Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, thus becoming the first Cuban-American ever to set a dance work on this national company. Horizonte had its world premiere in January 2011 at Teatro Mella in Havana. When Danza Contemporanea toured the U.S. in May 2011, Horizonte was featured in the company’s repertoire.
In January 2012, Ruiz premiered his second commission for a Cuban dance company, El Camino, performed by Danza del Alma at Teatro Caridad in Santa Clara, Cuba. On March 17 of that year, Ruiz headlined the annual gala for The New Jersey Ballet with a new work, So Proudly We Hail — a fist-time collaboration between The New Jersey Ballet and the West Point Military Band.
In 2013, Pedro Ruiz was commissioned to create a new collaboration with Ballet Contemporaneo Endedans of Camaguey, Cuba. Moments in the Wind premiered on January 24, 2014, at Teatro Principal in Camageuy as a part of a year-long series of cultural events planned to celebrate the beautiful colonial city’s 500th anniversary; and Moments in the Wind premiered to critical acclaim in Havana at Teatro Marti on July 18, 2014. On May 24, 2015, Ruiz premiered a new ballet in the Havana Biennial with principal dancer from Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Viengsay Valdes, as well as dancers from the school of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. In November 2014, Ruiz was officially appointed Associate artistic Director of Ballet Contemporaneo Endedans of Camagüey Cuba.
In 2015/2016, Ruiz’s highly successful ballet, Club Havana was featured in Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. And Ruiz’s celebrated poetic duet, Lasting Embrace, premiered in the US in July 2016 at the Dancers Responding to AIDS Dance Festival on Fire Island and at Marymount Manhattan College.
Awards include: The Bessie Award, the Choo-San Goh Award, The Cuban Artist’s Fund, The Joyce Foundation Award and The American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. The FBI honored Ruiz for his Public Service during Hispanic Heritage Month Mr. Ruiz has performed at the White House for several presidents.